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Category: Lt Horse Regiments

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12th Light Horse Regiment (New South Wales)

 [4th Light Horse Brigade]

Served in Egypt, Gallipoli, Sinai, Palestine

Formed New South Wales for 4th Light Horse Brigade. 

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Badges displayed either unofficial or CMF.

  • Departed Sydney on Suevic 13 June 1915 

    • Relieved of assignment to 4th Light Horse Brigade 26 August 1915 and broken up. 

      • A Squadron and Machine Gun Section attached to 1st Light Horse Regiment, 

      • B Squadron attached to 7th Light Horse Regiment, 

      • C Squadron attached to 6th Light Horse Regiment. 

  • Reconstituted at Maadi, Egypt 20 February 1916 and assigned to 5th Division. 

  • Resumed its original identity and assigned to reformed 4th Light Horse Brigade February 1917.

    • 1st Reinforcements departed Sydney on Ceramic 25 June 1915, 

    • 2nd Reinforcements departed Sydney on Chilka 7 June 1915, 

    • 3rd Reinforcements departed Sydney on Runic 9 August 1915, 

    • 4th Reinforcements departed Sydney on Argyleshire 30 September 1915, 

    • 5th Reinforcements departed Sydney on Themistocles 5 October 1915, 

    • 6th Reinforcements departed Sydney on Hawkes Bay 23 October 1915 

    • 7th Reinforcements departed Sydney on Hawkes Bay 23 October 1915 

      • and Uganda 20 November 1915, 

    • 8th Reinforcements departed Sydney on Karroo 5 May 1916, 

    • 9th Reinforcements departed Sydney on Hororata 2 May 1916, 

    • 10th Reinforcements departed Sydney on Mongolia 8 July 1916, 

    • 11th Reinforcements departed Sydney on Anglo-Egyptian 19 September 1916, 

    • 12th Reinforcements departed Sydney on Kabinga 12 September 1916, 

    • 13th Reinforcements departed Sydney on Clan MacCorquodale 19 September 1916, 

    • 18th Reinforcements departed Sydney on Port Sydney on 9 May 1917, 

    • 19th Reinforcements departed Sydney on Port Lincoln 11 June 1917, 

    • 20th Reinforcements departed Sydney on Kyarra 3 September 1917, 

    • 21st Reinforcements departed Melbourne on Kyarra 7 September 1917, 

    • 22nd Reinforcements departed Melbourne on Commonwealth 2 November 1917, 

    • 23rd Reinforcements departed Sydney on Canberra 16 November 1917.

Battle Honours:  

  • Anzac, 
  • Defence of Anzac, 
  • Suvla, 
  • Sari Bair, 
  • Gallipoli 1915, 
  • Romani, 
  • Maghdaba-Rafah, 
  • Egypt 1915-17, 
  • Gaza-Beersheba, 
  • El Mughar, 
  • Nebi Samwil, 
  • Jerusalem, 
  • Jordan (Es Salt), 
  • Megiddo, 
  • Sharon, 
  • Damascus, 
  • Palestine 1917-18

many details on this page from Ross Mallett's site

12th Light Horse Regiment

The 12th Light Horse Regiment was raised, as part of the 4th Light Horse Brigade, at Liverpool, New South Wales, on 1 March 1915. It sailed from Australia in two contingents in June 1915. The first contingent put in at Aden on 12 July to reinforce the British garrison there against a predicted enemy attack; they only left their ship for a single route march, and sailed again on 18 July without having seen action.

The regiment was reunited in Egypt on 23 July 1915 and began training as infantry, having been ordered to leave its horses in Australia. A month later it deployed to Gallipoli. The regiment was again split up, to reinforce three light horse regiments already ashore A Squadron went to the 1st Light Horse Regiment, B Squadron to the 7th, and C Squadron to the 6th. It was not reunited until 22 February 1916, by which time all of the AIF troops from Gallipoli had returned to Egypt.

Returning to its mounted role, the 12th Light Horse joined the forces defending the Suez Canal on 14 May 1916. In ensuing months it conducted patrols and participated in several forays out into the Sinai Desert. In April 1917 the regiment moved into Palestine to join the main British and dominion advance. It joined its first major battle on 19 April when it attacked, dismounted, as part of the ill-fated second battle of Gaza.

With two frontal attacks on Gaza having failed, the next attempt to capture the Turkish bastion was a wide outflanking move via the town of Beersheba, launched on 31 October 1917. A deteriorating tactical situation late on the first day of the operation caused the 12th and its sister regiment, the 4th, to be unleashed on Beersheba at the gallop an action which has gone down in history as the charge of Beersheba.

After Gaza fell on 7 November 1917, Turkish resistance in southern Palestine collapsed. The 12th Light Horse participated in the pursuit that followed, and then spent the first months of 1918 resting and training. It moved into the Jordan Valley in time to participate in the Es Salt raid between 29 April and 4 May. The regiment subsequently manned defences on the west bank of the Jordan.

In August, the regiment was issued with swords and trained in traditional cavalry tactics in preparation for the next offensive against the Turks. This was launched along the Palestine coast on 19 September 1918 its objective, Damascus. The mounted forces penetrated deep into the Turkish rear areas severing roads, railways and communications links. The 12th Light Horse was one of the first Australian units to enter Damascus on 2 October 1918. 

The regiment was soon involved in the next stage of the advance and was on its way to Homs when the Turks surrendered on 30 October. While awaiting to embark for home, the 12th Light Horse were called back to operational duty to quell the Egyptian revolt that erupted in March 1919; order was restored in little over a month. The regiment sailed for home on 20 July 1919. Text from AWM

  • 53 killed, 401 wounded
  • Decorations

    • 3 DSO, 1 bar
    • 5 MC, 1 bar
    • 9 DCM, 1 bar
    • 14 MM
    • 17 MID

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